At the end of May and the beginning of June the crop of the Crocus sativus starts slowly to discolor. The grass-like leaves of the saffron plant, which have been beautifully dark green from the end of October, are now starting to turn yellow, after which they turn light brown and will completely dry out.
Once the withered leaves can be easily removed by hand, the bulbs are ready to be harvested.
Harvesting Crocus sativus bulbs
At our company the bulb harvesting is done by means of a large harvesting machine that is being pulled by a tractor. This harvesting machine scoops up the bulbs together with the soil on a sieve belt that transports them up, after which the bulbs are brought into a dump truck with the aid of a conveyor belt. To prevent damage to the bulbs during harvesting and transport, the bulbs are being harvested and transported together with a lot of soil because the soil serves as a kind of protection for the bulbs.
Processing the Crocus sativus bulbs
As soon as the dump truck is fully filled, it is driven to our production location where the soil is washed from the bulbs using a large rinsing machine. The clean bulbs are then collected in large cubic boxes that are placed on a drying floor where the bulbs are blown hand-dry within 24 hours with a lot of forced warm air.
Subsequently, the boxes with bulbs are stacked in rows in front of a drying wall system where the bulbs are further being dried, stored and ventilated using warm air. During this storage period, our Crocus sativus bulbs also receive a special, flower-promoting treatment.
When the bulbs are completely dry, we grade them by size. This is done on our processing line which is specially designed for flower bulbs.
After the gradation, the saffron bulbs will be checked for deviations on a scanning belt combination and counted electronically to prepare the bulbs for dispatch to our customers.
Crocus sativus bulbs directly from the grower
In short this is the explanation of the processing and harvesting activities of the Crocus sativus at our company. It shows that the bulbs that you buy from us come directly from the grower, which has the advantage that the entire process from planting to selling is being controlled by ourselves which means that we can guarantee you the best quality Crocus sativus.